Bad news for Chelsea before Liverpool: Ruben Loftus-Cheek blow

After Maurizio Sarri saw his 100% start to the season come to an end against West Ham on Sunday, the Italian will be hoping to bounce immediately back.

On Wednesday, Chelsea will travel to Anfield for their third round tie against Liverpool in the League Cup.

However, it appears that one man will not be making the journey to Merseyside.

In what was looking like an increasingly rare opportunity for Ruben Loftus-Cheek, The Telegraph are reporting the 22-year-old will instead be sidelined.

Loftus-Cheek’s injury blow

Struggling to gain any real match time under the former Napoli boss, Loftus-Cheek was not named among the substitutes for Sunday’s London derby.

It has since been confirmed that the England international had an injection for an unspecified injury.

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Chelsea believes that the central midfielder will need a weeks rest before being available for selection.

Although Sarri is yet to confirm, Loftus-Cheek’s injury could have something to do with a shin injury that forced him to withdraw from England duty early.

This injury setback couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Chelsea man.

With the likes of Jorginho arriving over the summer, Loftus-Cheek is yet to start a game this season.

In his place, it is expected the fit-again Cesc Fabregas will make his first start.

The return of the Spaniard certainly adds even more competition on Loftus-Cheek’s position.

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 05: Ruben Loftus-Cheek of Crystal Palace gets past Thino Kehrer of Schalke during a Pre Season Friendly between Crystal Palace and FC Schalke 04 at Selhurst Park on August 5, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

A move away from Stamford Bridge?

With Gareth Southgate admitting that he is prepared to pick players just featuring in the Carabao Cup and the Europa League, Loftus-Cheek is running out of chances to feature.

England next face Croatia and Spain in the Uefa Nations League in the middle of November.

If he is intent on becoming a permanent member of Southgate’s side, could a move away suit the 22-year-old?

While Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovačić have often been picked ahead, Sarri says he wants to keep his midfielder until the New Year.

Although his decision to fight for his place as applaudable, a January move away is looking increasingly likely.

If Loftus-Cheek does become available, Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has confirmed his intentions.

Making 24 appearances for the Eagles last season, Loftus-Cheek bagged a spot in Southgate’s 23-man World Cup squad.

“I’ve answered this question before (on potentially re-signing Loftus-Cheek). I can’t answer the question ‘is that something you’re looking at’ because how can I look at it? He is a Chelsea player, I have no idea if he is going to be available in January, so what can I look at?

If the question was ‘should Ruben Loftus-Cheek be made available in January, would Crystal Palace be interested in loaning him again?’ then the answer is ‘yes’.”

Also see:

Chelsea midfielder Jorginho breaks Premier League record vs West Ham United

Chelsea vs Liverpool team news: Maurizio Sarri’s Pedro injury update